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The Color Purple

by Alice Walker

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Letters 19–21: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. Why are Sofia and Harpo arguing at the beginning of this section?

2. Describe Harpo’s wounds.

3. What excuse does Harpo give for his wounds?

4. What does Celie do to try to make herself sleep?

5. How much does Sofia pay Celie for use of her curtains?

6. What will happen if Celie continues to advise Harpo?

7. Why does Sofia feel sorry for Celie?

8. How many children does Sofia’s father have?

9. What does Celie mean when she tells Sofia that sometimes she has to talk with Old Maker?

10. What does Sofia think Celie should do with Mr.____?

1. Harpo thinks that Sofia spends too much time with her

2. Harpo has a black eye and a cut lip. He also has a hurt hand and he is walking stiffly.

3. Harpo claims that he was kicked by an angry mule, and then walked into the crib door at home. Then, during the evening, he accidentally closed the window on his hand.

4. Celie tries to stay up as late as possible. Before she goes to bed, she takes a warm bath. Then, she puts a little witch hazel on her pillow and makes sure the room is completely dark. If that doesn’t work, she tries drinking a little milk, counting the fence posts, and reading the Bible to fall asleep.

5. Sofia tries to give Celie a dollar for the use of her curtains.

6. Sofia says that if Celie wants a dead son-in-law she should simply keep on advising him like she did before.

7. Celie reminds Sofia of her own mother, who never stood up to her husband.

8. Sofia’s father has 12 children—six boys and six girls.

9. Celie means that she talks with God whenever Mr.____ begins to abuse her.

10. Sofia thinks that Celie should kill Mr.____ now and think about heaven later.

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